On 22 January 2021, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa Lukaševica, took part in an informal webex meeting on global climate diplomacy between representatives from EU Member States and John Kerry, the United States President’s Special Envoy for Climate, addressing climate diplomacy issues and exchanging views on the ways for speeding the transition to cleaner sources of energy.
“Latvia is delighted to see that with the first steps of the new administration, Europe and the U.S. stand united against climate change. Our unity is indispensable for both European and global security,” the Parliamentary Secretary underlined. Zanda Kalniņa Lukaševica welcomed the commitment by the new United States Administration to assigning a high priority to the climate agenda, and she concurred that the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26), or the United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Glasgow this coming November, must reach a global agreement which sets higher ambitions in efforts to tackle climate change.
Zanda Kalniņa Lukaševica underlined the importance of development cooperation in the global climate policy. She noted that climate change has a direct and negative impact on global economies that have already suffered from the COVID-19 crisis. Less developed regions of the world are the most vulnerable. The EU and the USA should set an example in climate policy by promoting engagement with other countries and regions, the Parliamentary Secretary noted. She also underlined that an ambitious climate agenda calls for seeking balance in order to preserve and increase the EU’s global competitiveness.
The meeting took place at the initiative of the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jeppe Kofod. The participants also included European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell Fontelles.
This was the first meeting with a representative of the new United States Administration following the inauguration of President Joe Biden on 20 January. The exchange of views was held ahead of the discussion between EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs on climate and energy diplomacy at the Foreign Affairs Council on 25 January.
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